Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching


Current use of LMS (Blackboard)

Currently Blackboard …

serves as a portal that provides

  • interactive websites for all courses and various offices.
  • Space for HR information

  • Space for Course information (classroom tool, schedule of classes)
  • Space for Classroom assignment information
  • User Directory w/photos customized for faculty and students
  • access to online student evaluation surveys
  • access to specialized applications outside of the course/organization framework e.g. lists of course enrollments for multiple courses, eportfolios,  RSS feeds from various on-campus publications, links to past courses, classroom search tool
  • an ability to target communication to specific subgroups via targeted modules, emails/announcements, txt messages and text-voice capabilities.
  • Directory of offices listed in the footer of each page.
  • Confidential photo roster in course/organization tools
  • Sites for every course (new sites made every semester ~800):  These are auto- populated with registered students and instructors.  High school, Kendal visitors and guest speakers need to have accounts manually created in the system before they are manually enrolled.  
  • We currently have >500 manually created accounts in the system that are managed by Sandy Kanuch in Networking.
  • Functions available in the order of usage:
    • Listing of students enrolled in course.
    • Multiple methods for communicating with students. Emails and postings in Blackboard.
    • Notications tailored by the end user:  txt msgs, txt to voice, emails.
    • Web presence for the display and distribution of course materials.  Who can view what material is controlled by the instructor.
    • Rosters of students with additional information about each student.
    • On-line tools for discussion and collaboration (Discussion Boards, Blogs)
    • Tools that allow for assessment of student progress and learning: Hand-in of papers, Journals, Quizzes, Tests.
    • Tools for giving students feedback on work they’ve done: Grader app, Grade Center.
    • Management and distribution system for library eReserve materials.
    • Grade management and distribution.

Sites for many organizations/offices: These sites have the same functionality as seen in courses. However, they are mostly used for communicating with selected users and restricting access to sensitive materials and training. Some organization sites are auto-populated, while enrollment in others is either via self-enroll or manual enrollment by leaders.  Some use both an automated enrollment with some users added manually. Examples of such sites include:

  • Orgs used mostly for document exchange and communication to large groups of employees/students
    • All Students site
    • All Faculty/Staff that are teaching in a particular semester
    • All Students
    • All Students in Conservatory
    • All people that have advisees
    • Advisor/Advisee sites
    • OCOPE
    • A&PS
    • Students scheduled to graduate
    • Students that are marching
    • College Dean (autopopulated) (Maggie Robinson, David K, Steve W)
    • Conservatory Dean  (autopopulated) (Martin Hundley)
    • Library (manual enrollment – Alison Gallaher, Alan Boyd)
    • Media Depot (policy distribution) (manual enrollment – Kyle Hartzell, Shane Davis)
    • Departments: (autopopulated – Department AAs, Chairs)
      • separating majors, minors and major/minors on leave.
      • copying emails for different subgroups of students
      • determining when a student added/dropped the major.
  • Orgs that provide training through Blackboard
    • Library sites (Allison Gallaher)
    • OCMC (Julie Cruse)
    • PRSM – Title IX Surveys (Monique Burgdorf)
    • Language placement tests (Barbara Sawhill, Bob Peters)
    • Calculus Placement test (self enroll)(Susan Colley)
  • Restricted Orgs for document exchange
    • Tenure Review
    • Progress towards tenure
    • Program Reviews (Dean’s Office – Cathy Lang, Maggie Robinson)
    • Committee sites (CF, GF, ConF) – (enrollment handled by GC office, Pam Pierron)
    • Grants, Foundation Office (Pam Snyder)
  • Orgs that provide primarily a communication, scheduling and/or administering surveys.
    • Athletics (1 large megasite for all athletes) (1-time manual enrollment) (Eric Lahetta, Jason Hudson)
    • Class Deans (5 different ‘Hubs’) (autopopulated) (Kim Davidson, Shozo Kawaguchi)
    • ResEd (all clusters) (1-time manual enrollment) (Karen Arcaba)
    • Otto B Schoepfle Vocal Arts Center (Sal Campagne)
    • Various Workgroup type sites

Aspects of Blackboard that we don’t use as well as we could/should:

  • Calendar
  • due dates for assignments which tie these assignments to the calendar
  • distance learning capabilities
  • ‘open’ courses
  • Sites for institutional training/certification
  • Analytics/Accreditation
  • Collaboration videoconferencing (collaborate)
  • Integration with other systems such as PRESTO, Google Apps (email, docs) and/or DegreeWorks